The Dodgers have to counter the Padres’ Blake Snell move.
Ah, you again, Blake Snell? I thought the Dodgers got rid of you when your mind-numbingly stupid manager erased you from the World Series and handed us the trophy.
Unfortunately, not only has Los Angeles not vanquished Snell permanently, but he’s now come to roost within their division.
The Padres completed a ridiculous blockbuster trade for the Rays’ ace late Sunday night, clearing some of their prospect core in exchange for a one-for-one replacement for Mike Clevinger next year, who’ll be rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, ready to return in 2022.
And that’s when San Diego’s rotation will really become a problem for the Dodgers, who now have a prime opportunity to strike back.
San Diego acted the way a championship-level team does in pouncing on this opportunity. Not that blockbuster trades are anything new for AJ Preller, but we digress.
The Padres looked at a prospect core overloaded with rotation options (Mackenzie Gore, et. al) and traded Luis Patiño from a position of strength to get better next season and the year after. Officially, Los Angeles — still the favorites, though the gap is shrinking slightly — is on the clock.
We entertained a Snell trade package when the winter first started, and we’ll never quite know how far the Dodgers got in the conversation. The next-best available starter on the trade market? Yu Darvish. We’re not running that back.
So now, more than ever, is the time for LA to strike in the market everyone expects them to eventually arrive in: Trevor Bauer.
The goal in a Bauer deal was always to make things scary for the Angels, the team with the largest rotation holes and one that expected to be Bauer’s California homecoming landing spot. But now that the team LA is poised to duke it out with for the next several years has taken the offseason’s largest swing, there’s additional motivation here.
Bauer will no longer be available on a one-year deal, but his cost won’t break the bank for a team that prints money like the Dodgers. In fact, he shouldn’t even prevent a Justin Turner reunion.
And then, just maybe, in next year’s NLCS, Los Angeles can show Blake Snell first hand what it looks like when a newly-imported ace can make it out of the sixth inning.